The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gnarly, dude!

When I was 18 years old, I fell in love with surfing. Something like an addict falling in love with heroin. I was ripe for it, I suppose; young, healthy, and seemingly indestructible. It was at a beach in Hallandale, Florida, at a small strip of undeveloped (at that time) shoreline between a small condo/resort and an out-of-business (and abandoned) motel. A friend had invited me to come try surfing. The first wave I actually caught won me over. I didn't stand up on the board, just got to my knees before losing it, and yet I was hooked. Even when I went to retrieve the board and got rapped in the mouth with it, leaving me with a fat lip to explain, my ardor grew.

I bought a surfboard (they were big then... mine was 9'4"). I started wearing "cords", eschewed socks with my loafers, and getting tan. I got deeper into it in the next few months. I read about it, watched movies about it, ate, drank, and slept it. I started collecting Beach Boy music. I went out to the beach just about every day. Even on school days.

I was going to a private school in Hollywood, FL at the time. Classes were from 8:30 to 12:30 but I rarely stayed past 10 when we broke for "lunch." We were never punished for skipping class. We did have to make up the work we missed but that wasn't difficult. I took a part time job as a bellboy/go-fer at a small motel in Sunny Isles, just south of Hallandale, that started at 4 in the afternoon.

Surf is spotty in south Florida. It is not like the big or constant waves of Hawaii or California. The breaks are over sandbars, not reefs, and are mostly wind-driven and small. There's a lot of days when the Atlantic looks more like a lake than an ocean. But something else helped us get through those days... skateboards. "Sidewalk surfing"

I made my first, and only, skateboard a few short months after starting surfing. I took a sturdy plank, trimmed it to about 24" inches long and maybe 4" or 5" wide. I bolted the wheels from an old pair of shoe skates I had laying around onto it and *voila!* I had a skateboard. It helped hone some skills, mostly improving my balance. I never got very good at either surfing or skateboarding but I got by.

The riskiest things we would do on skateboards were riding down the ramps into the loading dock area at the 163rd St Shopping Center and jumping off, or up onto, curbs. We didn't have knee pads or helmets back then and we were a bit wary of breaking bones, I'd guess.

But look what they can do today...

He made that look easy, didn't he?

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